New Jersey's Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) has voted unanimously (4-0) to approve the final rules for marijuana consumption lounges in the state. The regulations, set to be formally published in the New Jersey Register next month, mark a significant step towards allowing individuals to purchase and use cannabis products on-site.
Under the newly approved plan, consumption lounges are prohibited from selling food or alcohol. However, adults aged 21 and older will have the option to bring their own food or have it delivered, subject to local government approval. Medical cannabis patients are granted the ability to bring their own marijuana products.
The regulations also impose limits on businesses, allowing them to own only one social use license, irrespective of the number of dispensaries they operate. Micro Businesses will face a $1,000 fee for obtaining a consumption area endorsement, while standard businesses will be required to pay a $5,000 fee.
Christopher Riggs, Chief Counsel of NJ-CRC, announced that an application portal for potential licensees will open soon, with additional steps pending before full implementation.
Commissioner Charles Barker emphasized the importance of an “exclusive period for social equity, diversely owned businesses” in the application process, deeming it a “critical component to establishing equity and leveling the playing fields.”
In addition to the approval of consumption lounge rules, the commission granted 70 new adult-use cannabis licenses, spanning retailers, manufacturers, cultivators, and delivery services. NJ-CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown projects that the state could witness over $1 billion in cannabis sales this year, showcasing the economic benefits expected to arise from the increased availability of licensed cannabis businesses.
These developments come approximately a year after the initial release of proposed consumption lounge rules by the commission, following a public comment period.
This story was first published by Marijuana Moment.